US wants Bangladesh to implement action plan on trafficking

Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Published : 00:12, Nov 09, 2019 | Updated : 00:13, Nov 09, 2019

This August 2015 photo shows flags of Bangladesh and USA at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. PHOTO/ US has exhorted Bangladesh to implement the National Action Plan, to prevent human trafficking. Its failure to do so may see Bangladesh slide further in the Trafficking in Person index next year, US officials warned.
This was communicated to Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, by US Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells.
A foreign ministry official said: “The US makes a trafficking in person list every year and Bangladesh is in the second tier this year; Ms Wells expressed fears that if Bangladesh failed to implement the national action plan then the country may slide to the third tier.”
During her discussion with the government, Wells asked about the progress in the implementation of the action plan and what punitive measures were taken against lawbreakers. But the foreign ministry official said that the visiting US official could not be given detailed information in reply to her queries.
“The government is taking firm steps to prevent human trafficking and we hope that our position will remain unchanged next year.”
A Bangladeshi trafficking survivor holds a paper boat during an interview at a shelter in West Bengal, India, Sept 9, 2019. Thomson Reuters FoundationThe visiting US official also expressed unease of her government about freedom of speech, civil society and labour rights in Bangladesh.
The US had a fund for Indo-Pacific vision but to use the money, Bangladesh had to solidify her values, said a foreign ministry official.
The issue about the fugitive killer of Bangabandhu, Rashed Chowdhury, was discussed with Wells and she asked for all the relevant documents. She said that after assessment, the US’s position will be made clear.
The US had sent back another killer, Mahiuddin Ahmed after rejecting his appeal for political asylum in 2007 so there is hope that Rashed Chowdhury can be brought back too to face trial.